x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

MLB: Astros fire manager after latest loss to Arizona

Brad Mills, the Houston Astros manager, and two members of his coaching staff, were fired by the side following their 12-3 defeat to the Diamondbacks, the latest in a string of losses by the team.

Houston Astros' Brad Mills tries to give his side a pep talk during their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Houston Astros' Brad Mills tries to give his side a pep talk during their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Houston Astros fired manager Brad Mills and two members of his coaching staff in the wake of the 12-4 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mills was in his third season as manager of the Astros, who have the worst record in the major leagues at 39-82.

The club also fired hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham. The Astros said first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow will name an interim manager and other staff members in a news conference later today.

Mills became the first big league manager to be fired this season. He was 76-86 in his first season with Houston and a franchise-worst 56-106 last year.

The Astros got off to a rough start again this season but really went into a tailspin during the summer after trading several high-priced veterans mostly for prospects. They have slashed almost $40 million from their opening-day roster and have a remaining payroll of just $21.3 million.

The trades left Mills in a compromised position with the youngest roster in the National League. He talked often about trying to get the inexperienced players to "do the little things right." He hoped that if they could start doing that it would lead to more wins.

But instead the losses continued to pile up, including a 4-34 slide during one stretch, and after Saturday night's particularly embarrassing loss in which the Diamondbacks scored nine runs in the fifth inning alone, Astros executives decided it was time to move on.

A nine-run fifth inning highlighted by Aaron Hill's three-run jack means the Astros will be on the wrong end of a 6-0 clean sweep if they lose their next meeting at Minute Maid Park.

Elsewhere, Jon Niese matched zeros with Edwin Jackson through six before Ike Davis broke the tie with a two-run homer in the seventh as the New York Mets downed the Washington Nationals 2-0.

Jon Lester delivered his second convincing win in as many starts for the Boston Red Sox as they defeated the New York Yankees 4-1.

Joaquin Arias drove in three runs to help the San Francisco Giants outlast the San Diego Padres 8-7, while Bartolo Colon pitched an impressive eight innings in the Oakland Athletics' 8-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

John Jaso came off the bench and hit a walk-off, bases-loaded sacrifice fly as the Seattle Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2.

Starlin Castro came within a homer of the cycle, and the Chicago Cubs won a slugfest over the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of their twin bill. The 9-7 success followed a 5-3 setback.

Giancarlo Stanton belted a three-run homer in a four-run first inning as the Miami Marlins saw off the Colorado Rockies 6-5, while the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3.

The St Louis Cardinals moved a game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central standings and wild card race with a 5-4 success.

The LA Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-4, the Baltimore Orioles saw off the Detroit Tigers 3-2 and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.

The Tampa Bay Rays trailed the LA Angels 8-0 after three but a 7-0 fifth innings paved the way for a stunning comeback by the visitors, who won 10-8 in the night's final match to finish.